Saturday, 30 April 2016

very "petit Trianon"

This little beauty hidden in Kent is Hever Castle, which we visited this month. From the moment we entered the ground we were mesmerised, we didn't really know anything about the place and just came across it by chance during a spring drive. The cottages by the side of the main castle made me think instantly about the Petit Trianon, Marie Antoinette's private estate in Versailles. It had that very bucolic, natural, manicured-yet-a-bit-wild feel to it. The best thing is, you can hire the place and stay the night! Not sure we ever will, but what a great stay that would be!
With our toddler in tow, we didn't even try to venture in the castle and just visited the gardens, but there is so much to see, we will have to plan another visit to make the most of each little corner. One thing we look forward to next time (hopefully a warm, sunny day) is hiring a boat to go around the lake.
Of couse no visit to a place like that is complete without some sort of afternoon tea (he he) so we stopped for a bit of scone - and of course the never-ending conversation piece that comes with it: jam first or clotted cream first? I tried both and think jam on top is the best. What's your take on it?

Monday, 11 April 2016

My little bubble box

The Bubble Box arrived last month in the middle of a pretty busy time, namely our big house move. I haven't got round to posting about it here till now and I thought maybe I wouldn't as the April box should be arriving this week, but hey, better late than never right?
So here it is -  My Little Box for March.
This month I found the packaging a bit less attractive than January and February, the roller girl didn't really appeal to me, and the colours just reminded me of the 80s, in a not-so-nostalgic way :(

The goodies were great though, with a big emphasis on beauty this month, as the lifestyle bit of the box was all about hair and make-up. The hairbrush is funky enough and works a treat, I haven't used the "bulle de teint" yet, but it feels great to the touch.
In the laced up pouch a FABULOUS Givenchy mascara (great packaging, so tactile) a body scrub from Huygens and one of my all-time favourite products, a pink lip and cheek tainter. I've been a huge fan of Benetint for years, and thought this would be similar. However, My Little Beauty's version is heavier, more paste-like than the watery Benetint. Great finish on the face though, especially on the cheeks.
To round off the box, the usual magazine (again, colour palette not to my taste this month, sadly) and a balloon to blow. Because, why not?

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

where time stands still

I have spoken here about it on a few occasions before, but going home really does feel strange, and the feeling just seems to deepen year after year. Sure, the reasons for that are rooted in childhood,  teenagehood and the endless underlying family issues that come with that territory - I'm sure a lot of you out there know what I'm talking about. But there is also the fact that as years have gone by I have lost all ties with the few school mates I had. Distance does this. That means going home is purely a family business: I go, they get to see baby, we catch up for a while (note to self - remember to avoid talking politics, healthcare, money, and work. I know, that doesn't leave much but it's essential in order to survive even the shortest of visits), eat, walk around the village and that's pretty much it, at least when the weather is not hot enough to be outside.
Still, when the sun shines the light is amazing, the local cheese is out of this world, this time we got to see a small circus, and there are lovely shops in the nearby town - I tend to go a bit crazy to compensate ;)
Maybe it's time to stop visiting France at Easter for me? 

Monday, 4 April 2016

Easter Baby

This year's early Easter coincided with Baby's third birthday, which gave us the opportunity to see family and to organise a small first party in our new house (more on the new house later, we're still feeling our way around it, but gosh, is it nice to have your own place at last!)
Baby J could not have been happier with her birthday. I saw lots of hanging balloons on Pinterest lately and tried it the night before the big day - man, the look on her face when she saw them in the morning was priceless, I have never seen that look of amazement on her before, like "really, all this for me?" Then presents, then grandparents arriving without her knowing, then a whole day at London zoo, and then my delicious but not very "together" pecan cake (Delia's recipe here), wow, what a day for our big girl. And what proud, happy parents she makes us.

DIY tips
 ♥ For the balloons, I used some simple masking tape and raffia ribbons, we're lucky to have the right kind of skylight to hand them on to, but Pinterest has loads of ideas for balloons hanging off doorframes etc too.
 ♥ The cake really was nice, honest, especially the caramelised pecans and mascarpone cream BUT do not let a three-year-old dictate the decoration of said cake, stick to Delia's, or wait until the very last minute to add your hundreds and thousands!

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